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North Central students discuss racial barriers in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - When the final bell rang at North Central High School on Friday, it marked the start of the weekend. But dozens of students stayed on campus to have an honest, and at times, an uncomfortable conversation about race.

Students had the option of watching the movie "The Hate You Give" which tells the story of a black student growing up in a poor neighborhood and attending a predominately white prep school. The main character loses her best friend in a police shooting.

The after school discussion titled "Courageous Conversations" brought students with different backgrounds to the same table, to talk about the reality of race in Spokane and their school.

Shon Davis, the Spokane Public School employee who organized the event said the idea came following an incident at Ferris High School in January. Several students claim a school resource officer used unnecessary force while detaining a black student who was involved in an argument.

Friday's discussion was a chance for students to connect with peers they normally wouldn't talk to.

"If you looked around the room, you'd see it was not all students of color," Davis said. "That you had a lot of white students that participated in this, and that's what makes this conversation I think more productive. It's not just people of color venting to one another."

North Central junior Zyaira Webb said, "I think it's important because our schools are not diverse at all, and I think it's important to have this movie night and have this discussion about racial inequality inside our schools, especially inside our community."

Similar discussions were held earlier this year at Rogers and Ferris High School.

"I would definitely watch it again," said North Central freshman Cai Clarke. "I thought it was pretty great and I definitely think we need more events like this."

 


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